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Department of Social Anthropology


The Strathern Lecture

The Strathern Annual Lecture was established in 2011 to celebrate the many-facetted achievements of Dame Marilyn Strathern FBA, who was William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology from 1993 to 2008, and Mistress of Girton College (1998-2009), and whose writings have been profoundly and widely influential in anthropology and on cognate disciplines. Her many awards and distinctions include the Huxley Memorial Medal, bestowed by the Royal Anthropological Institute for lifetime achievement at the highest level. Marilyn Strathern has also given many years of devoted service to the Cambridge Social Anthropology Department, and this lecture is a mark of the affection as well as the esteem in which she is held in the Department.

The Strathern Lecture is organised annually by the student-led Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS), which is supported by the Department.


The Strathern Lectures:

2011 (12 May)   Marlyn Strathern (University of Cambridge), Gifts Money Cannot Buy

2012 (16 May)   David Graeber (Goldsmiths, University of London), Culture as Creative Refusal: Heroic and Anti-Heroic Politics

2013 (23 May)   Nikolas Rose (King’s College, London), A Vital Turn? Biological Life and the Human Sciences

2014 (30 May)   Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (National Museum of the Federal University, Rio De Janeiro), Who’s Afraid of the Ontological Wolf?

2015 (21 May)   Anna Tsing (University of California, Santa Cruz), Earth Stalked by Man

2016 (26 May)   Yunxiang Yan (University of California, Los Angeles), Egoistic Individual, Moralist Self, and Relational Person: A Tripartite Approach to Changing Chinese Subjectivities

2017 (9 May)    Tim Ingold (Aberdeen University), The Future of Anthropology and the Future of the University

2018 (24 May)  Professor Don Kulick (Uppsala University), Violence, Talk and Nonsense: Gang Rape in a Papua New Guinean Village

2019 (9 May)    Professor Penny Harvey (University of Manchester), The Awkward Relations of Infrastructural Politics

2020 (27 May)  Professor Kath Weston (University of Virginia and University of Edinburgh), Bequeathing A World

2021 (13 May)  Professor Dan Hicks (University of Oxford), A Dead White Man

2022 (12 May) Professor Ruben Andersson (University of Oxford), Security and Subversion in a Time of Monsters

2023 (18 May) Professor Alpa Shah (LSE), When Decolonisation is Hijacked

2024 (16 May)  Professor Jason Hickel (ICTA-UAB), Capitalism, imperialism, and the struggle for development in the 21st century